Annex 14 – Aerodromes


Developed by ICAO, the International Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS) contained in the nineteen Technical Annexes to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (also called Chicago Convention) are applied universally and produce a high degree of technical uniformity which has enabled international civil aviation to develop in a safe, orderly and efficient manner.


Further to the Third and Fourth Sessions of the Aerodromes, Air Routes and Ground Aids Division (held in September 1947 and in November 1949 respectively), the Standards and Recommended Practices for Aerodromes were first adopted by the ICAO Council on 29 May 1951 Council pursuant to the provision of Article 37 of the Chicago Convention and designated as Annex 14 to the Convention with 61 pages at that time.


From 9 March 1990, Annex 14 was issued in two volumes as follows:

  1. Volume I: Aerodrome Design and Operations;
  2. Volume II: Heliports.


Typical runway sign, as specified in Annex 14, Volume I, Chapter 5 (Visual Aids for Navigation)


Taxiway widening, as specified in Annex 14, Volume I, Chapter 3 (Physical Characteristics)

Volume I contains specifications that prescribe the physical characteristics and obstacle limitation surfaces to be provided at aerodromes, and certain facilities and technical services normally provided at an aerodrome. The heart of the airport is the vast movement area extending from the runway, along the taxiways and onto the apron; these facilities are the building blocks for airports which define its over-all shape and size and permit engineers to lay out the skeleton that forms the airport’s basic structure. Along with defining the ground environment of airports, specifications are also required to define its airspace which must be free from obstacles in order to approach and depart safely from the airports. One section of Annex 14, Volume I is devoted to improving the safety of equipment at airports; of critical importance to the operation of any airport are the rescue and fire fighting services.


Provisions specifically for heliports are included in Volume II of Annex 14, i.e. Standards and Recommended Practices covering all aspects for heliport planning, design and operations. They were adopted further to the Fourth Meeting of the Helicopter Operations Panel (HELIOPS/4), the Eleventh Meeting of the ANC Visual Aids Panel (1987), and assistance from the ICAO Secretariat.


ICAO issued many publications related to the specifications of Annex 14, such as: Aerodrome Design Manual, Airport Services Manual, Airport Planning Manual, Manual on Certification of Aerodromes, Manual on the ICAO Bird Strike Information System, etc.


The following issues selected from the ICAO philatelic collection show a relationship with aerodromes, whether runways, or recue and fire fighting equipment (according to Annex 14, Chapter 9, Section 2). An airport crash tender (known in some countries as an airport fire appliance) is a specialized fire engine designed for use in aircraft rescue and firefighting at aerodromes. ICAO has defined standards and recommended practices on rescue firefighting categories of civil aerodromes. For this purpose, airports are classified by Annex 14 into 10 categories depending on the number of movements of the airplanes, the overall length and fuselage width of aircraft using the airport; the level of protection (in terms of extinguishing agents, rescue equipment, response time, fire stations, communication and alerting systems, personnel, etc.) is defined accordingly in Annex 14.



Gabon - 20th Anniversary of ICAO – 19 May 1967

Airlines and flight paths/runways; ICAO emblem.

This stamp shows an error: "de l'" is missing in the French name of the Organization, which should be written Organisation de l’aviation civile internationale.



Libya - 40th Anniversary of ICAO – 7 December 1984

Sheet of 16 stamps (4x4), the backgrounds of the stamps forming an overall design of a runway.


Botswana - 50th Anniversary of ICAO – 30 June 1994

Chubb Protector airport crash tender; ICAO 50th anniversary logo.


Swaziland - 50th Anniversary of ICAO – 30 November 1994

Air rescue service (airport crash tenders); ICAO 50th anniversary logo.


Nauru - 50th Anniversary of ICAO – 14 December 1994

Fire engines (airport crash tenders) at Nauru International Airport; 50th anniversary logo; Air Nauru Boeing 737.


Maldives - 50th Anniversary of ICAO – 31 December 1994

Main runway at the Male International Airport, Maldives; 50th anniversary logo.


Badge worn by the Chief of the Fire Department at airports in Italy.

The Corpo Nazionale dei Vigili del Fuoco (abbreviated by CNVVF or VVF, the National Fire Corps) is Italy's institutional agency for fire and rescue service, which is also operating at airports according to the standards and international guidelines defined by ICAO in Annex 14.



Montréal – 24-26 May 2011 - Global Runway Safety Symposium - Special souvenir covers

There is a special story behind the sunflowers that appear on the postage stamps. After seeking out several varieties that would appear most attractive on stamps, members of Canada Post’s Stamp Services staff met with horticultural experts at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Central Experimental Farm, in Ottawa. After choosing varieties sure to flourish under local growing conditions, AAFC’s experts agreed to provide a plot, and oversee the planting and tending of several types of sunflowers, which would eventually be photographed for the stamps. The winning varieties were Sunbright and Prado Red. The souvenir envelopes were issued with each of these two varieties.

The postmark was prepared in cooperation with Canada Post Corporation. The city of Montréal, where ICAO’s Headquarters are located, is highlighted by a red mark in the design on the left-side.


Excerpt from The Journal of the UN Philatelists, Vol. 35 #5, October 2011.